The coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic has touched all aspects of society including how we work. Emergency responders, health care workers, and others providing essential services to the community have been especially stretched thin, working longer hours than usual, working more shifts or even over-night, and leaving less time to sleep and recharge.
Under regular circumstances, adults need 7–9 hours of sleep per night, along with opportunities for rest while awake, optimal health, and well-being. Long work hours and shift work, combined with stressful or physically demanding work, can lead to poor sleep and extreme fatigue. Fatigue increases the risk for injury and deteriorating health (infections, illnesses, and mental health disorders).
While there is no one solution to fit everyone’s needs, here are some general strategies that workers and employers can use to manage workplace fatigue and work safely.